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Summer Concert  - 2016




Twyford Singers held their annual Summer Concert at Loddon Hall on the evening of Saturday July 25th 2016.


They sang a selection of 24 lovely melodies from the mid 13th century to the present day, many of them well known.    All the songs were introduced by members of the choir, and these introductions described how the words “Fa la la” were used in many early madrigals, and even Gilbert and Sullivan, to denote racy behaviour between, say, a shepherd and a shepherdess, when the action was being left to the listener’s imagination!


We also learnt, from the Orlando Gibbons madrigal The Silver Swan, that a swan only sings when about to die – leading, of course, to the expression ‘swan song’.    And who was Bobby Shaftoe?    It turns out that he was an 18th century British MP whose broken-hearted mistress died after he married someone else.


A similar fate was suffered by Dido, Queen of Carthage, who was abandoned by her lover Aeneas. She sings the beautiful Dido’s Lament by Henry Purcell, before ordering a funeral pyre to be set ablaze and stabbing herself. The solo part was sung by Helen Styles.


After these more tragic pieces, there was comedy from Flanders and Swann, and Gilbert and Sullivan, and nostalgia from Welsh-born Ivor Novello’s We’ll gather Lilacs and Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Memory.


Scotland was represented by the beautiful Skye Boat Song and Eriskay Love Lilt,   both places where Bonnie Prince Charlie sought refuge around the time of his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.  


Danny Walsh sang The Streets of London accompanying himself on guitar


And finally, Reading was represented by Sumer is icumen in,   a medieval English round, of which the earliest known copy was found at Reading Abbey!


The Twyford Singers, their Musical Director Helen Styles and Accompanist Judith Creighton were thanked for a very varied and entertaining concert, with some talented soloists and even some community singing.   A great way to spend a Saturday evening.


   Taken from a report on the concert by Ellen Lindsay.




































































Preparing Loddon Hall for the concert

The Twyford Singers and Musical Director,  Helen Styles